Launches of TV and audio products have continued at a pace throughout 2020 despite the challenging conditions. In that respect it’s still been a cracking year for with the emergence of 8K TV, the true wireless market expanding massively and the home cinema market getting a boost with the latest 4K TVs, Atmos soundbars and 4K projectors.
Coming up with a list of winners was not easy considering the quality of the nominees, but we’re confident the choices you see below reflect the best products of the year. Scroll down for all the winners in the TV and Audio section for the Trusted Reviews’ Awards 2020.
Best TV – Panasonic TX-55HZ2000
It what’s been a very competitive year in this category there can only be one winner, and the Panasonic TX-55HZ2000 gets our vote.
The HZ2000 further iterates on the GZ2000, producing a fantastic picture quality and sound from one set. It’s one of the brightest OLEDs on the market, and features support for all the main HDR formats. It’s up-firing speakers generate a tall, expansive sound that’s one of the best integrated audio solution we’ve come across. No other nominee offered as complete a performance.
Best value TV – Hisense Roku R50B7120UK
A more affordable set, Roku entered the UK market with a sterling first effort. The Roku interface offers a huge number of apps and services, and its simplified approach made finding and watching content accessible.
Picture quality is excellent with 4K and HD sources, and the sound is much better than expected for an affordable TV. If you’re looking to save pennies, we doubt you’d find a set that offers more value than this does.
Best 8K TV – Samsung QE75Q950TS
Samsung has taken the lead in bringing 8K technology to the market, and it shows with the brand dominating this category.
The winner is the Q950TS, which produces terrific image quality from 8K content. But where its value lies is in making 4K content look better than it does on a 4K TV. Its innovative Object Tracking Sound system helps to place sounds accurately on the screen, while also producing a wide and far-ranging soundscape. It’s not cheap, but it’s the most complete 8K TV yet.
Best projector – JVC DLA-N5
2020 has seen interest grow for projectors, with people looking to set-up a silver screen experience at home. JVC has long had a winning run with its native 4K projectors, and the DLA-N5 is another home run.
Contrast is stunning, and fused together combined with 4K and the projector’s tone mapping, images are spectacular, detailed and textured. The N5 is a pretty much irresistible choice and a deserved winner here.
Best soundbar – Sonos Arc
We’ve been awaiting a successor to the Playbar for some time. We got it in the Arc, and it’s a great soundbar.
The size of the soundstage it creates is impressive, and those already invested into the Sonos system will find that the Arc slots into a Sonos speaker set-up easily. It needs a TV with an eARC connection to get the best out of it, but in light of its performance across movies and music, the Arc bests the rest of the field.
Best smart speaker – Amazon Echo Studio
There was always the feeling that Amazon’s Echo range smart speakers were better at being smart than at being speakers. That’s not the case with the Echo Studio.
The Studio is an Echo speaker on steroids, with a big, bassy sound that can also output in Dolby Atmos (which actually works). With Alexa compatibility and integration possible with Fire TV devices, it’s very good value for its price.
Best wireless speaker – Naim Mu-so Qb 2
The Mu-so Qb 2 follows in the footsteps of the Mu-so in receiving an upgrade. While on the surface not much looks to have changed, beneath the surface it’s had a fairly comprehensive re-fit.
And while the price has gone up, there aren’t many wireless speakers at the premium end of the market that are as beautifully made, comprehensively specified and as enjoyable to listen to as the Mu-so Qb 2.
Best headphones – Sony WH-1000XM4
Looks are fairly deceiving with the WH-1000XM4, but the latest Sony premium noise-cancellers received a significant refurb where it counts.
Sony has made small, subtle and significant improvements in every area: from the comfortable, lightweight fit, to the thorough noise cancellation, intuitive smart features and the refined audiophile-like sound. They bowled us over when we listened to them and deservedly get the win here.
Best wireless headphones – Microsoft Surface Headphones 2
The original Surface over-ears were a very good pair of headphones. The Surface Headphones 2 are a distinct improvement, keeping what worked and making improvements in other areas for a very thorough wireless experience.
The noise-cancelling is terrific, some of the best we’ve tested in recent times, and the sound has received a bump for a more rewarding performance. Also, the rotary dial controls are terrific.
Best budget headphones – Philips PH805
The Philips PH805 show that cheaper headphones don’t have to disappoint, with these headphones outperforming their price point in nearly every respect.
With 30-hours of battery life, a sturdy and comfortable build and an audio performance that leaves very little to complain about, the PH805 are our budget headphones of the year.
Best true wireless – Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
The true wireless market is exploding, and Sennheiser’s latest earbuds are one of the best on the market right now.
The ANC isn’t as fierce as its closest competitors, but the fit and seal the TW2 creates works in combination with the ANC to block out sounds. And the audio itself is typically excellent from Sennheiser: warm, expressive and lush. It’s a sound we love listening to.
Best budget true wireless – Lypertek Tevi
We hadn’t heard of the Lypertek brand before but the Tevi made a big impression on us, dispelling the notion that budget headphones are compromised.
From the 70-hour long battery life to the confident and lively sound, the Tevi put in one of the best value and measured audio performances south of £100. A true wireless wonder.
Best sports headphone – Jabra Elite Active 75T
Fitness and wellbeing are becoming more important, and if a pair of headphones that can stand up to the most demanding of workouts is what’s needed, the Jabra offers a great all-round performance.
With plenty of battery life to get you though your weekly workouts, an upgraded IP rating over the standard 75T, and a powerful sound, the Elite Active 75T were the most complete fitness-based headphone we tested in 2020.
Best multi-room speaker – Sonos One SL
Sonos made their name with wireless multi-room speakers and the One SL continues their run of outstanding-sounding speakers.
Essentially a Sonos One without the microphones, for those concerned with privacy you don’t get Alexa and Google Assistant built-in, but you do get the same great audio performance. As a gateway into the Sonos ecosystem, it’s the most affordable way in.
Best turntable – Audio-Technica AT-LP5X
Vinyl’s popularity continues, and the AT-LP5X is one of more affordable ways to get into the format. The LP5X continues much of what worked with the original LP5, finessing the feature set and design rather than overhauling it completely. The result is a turntable that offers a great combination of performance, convenience and facilities at a very good price – hence it’s win here.
Best music streaming service – Spotify
Spotify bests its rivals again, solidifying its position as the go-to music streaming service. With an expansion into podcasts, it offers a broad range of content to tie down listeners with for hours upon hours.
Best video streaming service – Netflix
Despite another streaming service making waves in 2020, this reader voted award shows that Netflix remains top of the roost when online video streaming is concerned. With buzz-worthy shows in The Witcher, Stranger Things, Umbrella Academy and Russian Doll in 4K HDR, it’s easy to see why it remains popular among our readers.
Best TV and audio retailer – Richer Sounds
It’s been a difficult year for high street stores, with the situation surrounding the pandemic seeing more purchases made online. And so it puts a smile on our faces to see our readers vote for a more traditional bricks ‘n’ mortar shop.
Best Smart TV platform – LG webOS
The last award is Best Smart TV platform, another award voted for by our readers. LG’s webOS is one of the more colourful and intuitive out there, fending off some robust competition from the likes of Samsung and Android TV.